#1 Posted by SathingtonWaltz (2053 posts) -

Just like the title says we're trying to move to the CA Bay Area as close to San Francisco as possible. I have family (my entire fathers side) that live there, but my roommates and I have no experience or knowledge of the area. How viable is it to live out there? Are there any places we should avoid? Where's a good place to live that's not too expensive and in a decent area? Any other suggestions would be very appreciated!

#2 Posted by Animasta (14460 posts) -

All I know is living in SF proper is stupid expensive.

#3 Posted by SathingtonWaltz (2053 posts) -

@animasta: Yeah, I'm aware of that. We don't expect to be living directly in SF, but we'd like to be close.

#4 Edited by jking47 (1190 posts) -

I live in San Jose, about 45 minutes from San Francisco, for a 1 bedroom apartment that is not a complete dump it is usually at least $1,100 per month, so its not super cheap. I don't know if you guys have good jobs lined up here or something, but living on entry level wages is very difficult, though having roommates should help. Yeah there are gonna be some places you don't really want to live, but it will be pretty obvious usually. I like San Jose myself, but I hate San Francisco which it sounds like you enjoy. Those fucking one way roads are the most stressful thing in the world. Since you have family out here you should take a trip and look online for places up for rent and drive to the neighborhood and see what is around, I don't really know what you are looking for specifically. Let me know if you need any other info, I have lived in the Bay Area for a while.

#5 Edited by SathingtonWaltz (2053 posts) -

@jking47: Thanks for the response! We all work relatively low wage jobs, mostly minimum wage or slightly above. There are going to be five of us total (Me, my fiancee, and 3 roommates) probably working part-time jobs and going to school. My Fiancee and I have done some rudimentary research and San Leandro has somewhat reasonable prices (my family tells me to avoid Oakland at all costs). Do you know if San Leandro is nice or not?

#6 Posted by AgnosticJesus (532 posts) -

You all work minimum wage jobs and you want to move to California, one of the states with the highest cost of living. Good luck with that.

#7 Edited by papercut (3354 posts) -

I live in SF and if you want to live in the city the cheapest safest place would be the Sunset district. There are cheaper places that can tend to get a little stabby if you are willing to take the risk. There used to be more places like the Mission district but they have definitely been gentrified to a degree and it has gotten was more expensive over the years.

#8 Edited by jking47 (1190 posts) -

@sathingtonwaltz: Oakland gets a really bad reputation, and some parts of it definitely deserve it, but there are some areas that are pretty nice. But even then you are going to be near bad areas, if you are not down for that kind of thing staying away is the safe bet. I have never been into San Leandro, but I know Union City and Fremont right under it. Both of those are pretty nice, and I don't remember anything super shitty near the freeway, I am guessing it is similar to them. I hope you like Asian food, area has a very large Korean/Chinese population, and some of those hole in the wall Korean/Chinese food places are amazing. It also looks like San Leandro has a BART(Local train, runs from Fremont up through Oakland and into San Francisco(when they aren't on strike)) station, so getting into the city (Oakland or San Francisco) will be pretty easy. I would still advise taking a trip and scouting out whatever specific locations you have in mind, the Bay Area has little hidden ghettos everywhere, but San Leandro seems like a good choice.

EDIT: Oh and you guys are gonna need to squish if you want to make it on minimum wage, I am not kidding when I say it is difficult. I was making $15 an hour full time and was literally living on top ramen half the time with a one bedroom apartment.

#9 Edited by RuthLoose (740 posts) -

@jking47 said:

@sathingtonwaltz: Oakland gets a really bad reputation, and some parts of it definitely deserve it, but there are some areas that are pretty nice. But even then you are going to be near bad areas, if you are not down for that kind of thing staying away is the safe bet. I have never been into San Leandro, but I know Union City and Fremont right under it. Both of those are pretty nice, and I don't remember anything super shitty near the freeway, I am guessing it is similar to them. I hope you like Asian food, area has a very large Korean/Chinese population, and some of those hole in the wall Korean/Chinese food places are amazing. It also looks like San Leandro has a BART(Local train, runs from Fremont up through Oakland and into San Francisco(when they aren't on strike)) station, so getting into the city (Oakland or San Francisco) will be pretty easy. I would still advise taking a trip and scouting out whatever specific locations you have in mind, the Bay Area has little hidden ghettos everywhere, but San Leandro seems like a good choice.

EDIT: Oh and you guys are gonna need to squish if you want to make it on minimum wage, I am not kidding when I say it is difficult. I was making $15 an hour full time and was literally living on top ramen half the time with a one bedroom apartment.

I hope you are young enough to remain on your parent's health plan or have an employer paying some or part of your health insurance... you know... for the Oakland stabs.

Bon voyage and safe journeys. I hope you enjoy the downtown food situation more than Jeff and the Giant Bombers make it out to be.

#10 Posted by MB (11301 posts) -

What is your monthly rent budget? What kind of jobs are you going to be looking for?

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#11 Posted by TehBuLL (569 posts) -

hippies...that what this world needs more of.../sarcasm

#12 Edited by SathingtonWaltz (2053 posts) -

@mb: I don't think we can afford more than $2400 a month in rent, if all five of us work low wage jobs part time. Most of us are looking to go to school on the side, while my Fiancee is probably going to work full time (she has lots of management experience and a better resume than the rest of us).

We're all in our early 20's, none of us know what we want in life right now and my two roommates feel like it will be some kind of adventure, while I'm just trying to be closer to my Father / family. We all live in a partially rural area in central NC, and very few people that live here have the same interests or mindset as us. My mothers side here in NC no longer associates with me because I'm an agnostic / atheist and bisexual (as is my Fiancee and one of my roommates). If my best friends were to move out there, I would have nothing left in NC so I see no reason as to why I shouldn't come with them.

#13 Posted by Oscar__Explosion (2155 posts) -

Come live in Petaluma with Jeff!

#14 Posted by wjb (1553 posts) -

Good luck in Oakland.

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#15 Edited by RoyaleWifCheese (529 posts) -

Live in the suburbs, like in the east bay. Places like San Leandro, Fremont, or even Hayward are decent choices. They're just over the bay from SF and a whole hell of a lot cheaper. Though, that isn't really saying much.

#16 Posted by TyCobb (1924 posts) -

You all work minimum wage jobs and you want to move to California, one of the states with the highest cost of living. Good luck with that.

And one of lower minimum wage states apparently. I just looked at minimum wage by state and Washington is the place to go. $9.19 an hour. That's pretty damn good. I would assume cost of living is a lot lower too. I really though CA minimum wage would have been at least $8.50 by now. It was $6 or $6.25 when I was earning minimum.

#17 Posted by TyCobb (1924 posts) -

Live in the suburbs, like in the east bay. Places like San Leandro, Fremont, or even Hayward are decent choices. They're just over the bay from SF and a whole hell of a lot cheaper. Though, that isn't really saying much.

Could always try Vallejo too. It's a shitty town, but I would think rent would OK and it's only an hour away from SF.

#18 Edited by SuperKcross (86 posts) -

@tycobb: SF minimum wage is actually significantly higher at 10.55/hr

http://sfgsa.org/index.aspx?page=411

#19 Edited by SathingtonWaltz (2053 posts) -
@royalewifcheese said:

Live in the suburbs, like in the east bay. Places like San Leandro, Fremont, or even Hayward are decent choices. They're just over the bay from SF and a whole hell of a lot cheaper. Though, that isn't really saying much.

I've done some research of my own, and most of the information I've found (including the suggestions made in this thread) seem to point to the San Leandro / Hayward / Union City area being our best bet.

#20 Posted by Ravenlight (8033 posts) -

Come live in Petaluma with Jeff!

This is the best suggestion. Do not let Jeff know you're moving in, however. It will be the best surprise.

#21 Posted by KirillOrlov (184 posts) -

@oscar__explosion said:

Come live in Petaluma with Jeff!

This is the best suggestion. Do not let Jeff know you're moving in, however. It will be the best surprise.

Just move into Jeff's roommates room, since it's locked most of the time Jeff won't know and his roommate seems to be missing for months at a time. That's your in.